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DIY Filters that Will Give Your Photos a Unique Appearance

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

Lens filters give your photos a unique appearance, but they can be quite expensive. Fortunately, there are tons of household items you can use to reproduce filtered effects while being kind to your wallet. Here are some you can integrate into your shoots.

Outdoor Lights

If you have outdoor lights around the home, place them a couple of inches in front of your camera. This will create a dreamy effect. Christmas lights will also do the trick.

Patterns on Glass

Colored plexiglass makes a terrific filter. Get some plexiglass and use a marker to draw fun and colorful patterns. Then hold your glass a few inches away from the camera to get cool shapes in your photos.

Note, drawing on a window can also work. Just be sure the marker you use on your window can be washed off.

Washing Wire and Phone Flashlight

To create this filter, use a rubber band to tie washing wire across the camera lens. Then shine your phone flashlight directly over the lens. The wire will diffract the light giving your photo a lovely, diffused effect.

Plastic Cellophane

Plastic cellophane makes a great alternative to the patterns on glass effect. Just take cling wrap and wrap it around the lens with a rubber band. Then draw a pattern on it with colorful markers.

Create a Reflective Surface

A reflective surface can be used to change the direction of your light to enhance the look of your pictures. Your phone screen should do the trick. Place it under the lens of the camera and rotate to get a variety of suitable angles.

Play with Light Sources

Filters don’t always have to placed directly on the camera. They can also be applied to light sources you are using in your photo. For example, if you have a strong light, like a lamp, that are using to illuminate your shoot, try placing a grate or strainer in front of it. This will make for playful patterns that appear on your subjects to give your photos a professional look.

Create Your Own Shapes

This one expands on the playing with light sources effect. While a grate or strainer can provide a terrific, patterned look, don’t feel limited to kitchen appliances. You can also cut your own shapes out of cardboard. Use glue or tape to hang them over your light source to make your photos look unique.

Wrap Ribbons Around Your Lens

Colorful ribbons can also be used to give your photos a terrific visual. These can be placed directly across the camera lens. The camera will pick up the ribbon and anything in the background to provide a vibrant and slightly abstract appeal.

Filters don’t have to break the bank. The ones suggested in this article can be found in most households or are relatively inexpensive to purchase. Which will you be using for your next photo shoot? 

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